Victoria depicted on her coronation day wearing the Imperial Crown.
Family portrait of Victoria and Albert and 5 of their children by Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
Early photograph of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and all nine of their children.
Victoria was very fond of jewelry, wore a lot of it and set the fashion for what kind of jewelry was worn by everybody else. She was on the throne so long that jewelry fashions changed many times.
According to Victorian Jewelry: Unexplored Treasures. (available through Abbeville Press)“If only one category of Victorian jewelry could be used to define the feeling of the 19th century it would have to be the jewelry of sentiment. Sentimental jewelry was made from all sorts of materials, engineered in all sorts of ways, and inspired by all sorts of fashion influences. What unified it all was the use as its central image of the themes of love and remembrance. It employed all the classic symbols: the heart, the outstretched hand, clasped hands, Angel, Cupid, the serpent and the endless knot. It knew no social bounds because with the advent of industrial mechanization and less expensive materials, sentimental jewelry was with in the reach of just about everyone”.
Victorian jewelry with sentimental themes.
Scottish Pebble Jewelry brooches and bracelet with locket.
After Albert died in 1861, the queen withdrew for several years and only jewelry made of jet, a coal-like material, was allowed at court. Her faithful subjects followed suit with black jewelry made from jet or cheaper substitutes.
Mourning jewelry brooches carved of jet
When she finally suspended her mourning, Victoria began to wear silver jewelry to celebrate her 50th anniversary in 1887, her Golden Jubilee. Silver jewelry had previously been distained by the upper classes because it tarnished, but when the queen began wearing it, everyone else did too. She wore a widow’s veil for the rest of her life and with it a smaller, silver crown that was lighter than the Imperial Crown and designed to fit over her veil.
Queen Victoria wearing her small silver crown and widow's veil.
Late-Victorian silver brooches.
Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial Crown to Open Parliament. In this photo she is wearing the same diamond necklace Victoria wore in her 1887 Jubilee portrait.